How To Take Links Out Of A Watch
Do you want to learn how to remove links from a watch? There are various methods that manufacturers use to hold their bracelets (that is what a metal watch band is called) together. The most common method involves pins that are used on most midrange watches. Screws are also used in some high end watches, but not all. The third method uses a capture slide of some type, which is used on cheaper bracelets. We will give an overview of all three methods.
Tools needed to remove a link from a watch:
- Bracelet holder
- Pin punch
- Screw drivers
- Plastic pusher
- Determine link attachment. Examine the bracelet and see how it is held together. If it is screwed, you will see threads in the holes of the links. If it uses pins, there will most often be little arrows on the back of the removable links. If it uses some type of capture slide, you will see a piece of metal that can slide out of a part of the link. Usually, it will have a small ledge that can be captured with a pusher to move it off the bracelet.
- Select tool. For screwed links, you will need a screw driver that fits perfectly in the screw heads. Some makers use a one piece screw and some a two piece screw; for the two piece you will need two drivers. For pinned links, you will need a pin punch sized the same size or smaller than the pin, a small hammer, and a bracelet holder. For the slide type, you will need a pusher, plastic works well, with a flat which can catch and push the slide.
- Position watch in bracelet holder. If using a bracelet holder, position it correctly in the holder. For pinned bracelets, you will want the little arrows pointing downwards, this is the path which the pins are removed.
- Remove link. Using the correct tools remove the link. Unscrew the screws carefully, as not to damage the heads. Tap pins out gently until they can be removed by hand. Use the pusher to slip the retaining slide off if it has one. In all cases, go slowly, so you do not damage any of the small fragile parts. Once the first side is loose, move to the second side of the link and repeat the procedure.
- Store link. Put the link aside in a safe place in case it is ever needed. The best idea is to put one of the screws, pins or slide back on the pin as it is a safe place to store a tiny but vital part.
- Reattach bracelet ends. If using a bracelet holder, flip the bracelet in the holder so that the arrows point upwards now. Line up the holes or loose portions of the bracelet links and carefully replace the retaining device. Slip the pins in and tap them gently until flush with the hammer, screw the screw down until snug, or push the retaining clip into position with the plastic pusher.
That is how you remove the link out of the bracelet of most types of watches. The best advice is to use good quality tools and go slow, so you do not damage the screws, pins, or slip and scratch the surface of your watch. Good luck!